This week the White House press secretary tweeted out a doctored video of an alleged assault on an intern by a journalist in order to change the narrative from that day’s scandal du jour. Making an enemy of the free press seems to be one of the primary aims of this administration. By casting doubt on anything and everything, the President and his policies get an unlimited free pass. This tactic has been called “gaslighting” and it’s something that has been a truly destabilizing force in American politics over the last few years.
The President told an audience from the National Sheriff’s Association, at a meeting in the Oval Office, that “the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in over forty-seven years.” Now, of course, this is exactly the opposite of the truth. During the last three decades, the national rate of murders and violent crime has been cut in half. But he said it, and some part of the audience believed it. It was fact checked umpteen times in the press, but enough doubt has been sown about anything coming from the press that it almost doesn’t matter at all (see: Playing with Fire).
The President has made the statement that “Nothing can be proved” and has generally asserted that there’s no such thing as the truth and there are no facts. People in his administration, whose salaries our taxes are paying, have enabled these statements, backed them up, repeated them and supported a laundry list of lies he’s told across official government channels. These lies